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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  February 26, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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93-0, there was no objection to him. remember, they picked him. why would they object to him? so if there were no objections to him, why would he have to wait 263 days? no reason, literally no reason. the president's nominee to be defense secretary, former republican secretary chuck hagel was confirmed today, and will be sworn in and take over at that time pentagon. chuck hagel had the majority support, all the republicans in the senate, and the majority. it took this long to get him confirmed because republicans filibustered his nomination. nobody has ever done that before. nobody has ever before used a filibuster to block the confirmation of a cabinet nominee, ever in the history of our country, but they did it to chuck hagel. why? who knows? republicans in the senate pulled the fire alarm on this one, they
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broke glass in case of emergency. they did something that has never been done before in the history of the republic. and because they did it, there is now precedent for them to filibuster the next nominee. they broke glass for a nominee who in his case had bipartisan support to be confirmed. and the republicans in the senate did it in a way that didn't actually stop the confirmation. so you won nothing. but you did further break the institution where you work. there is an effort already under way to try to cover this up to say republicans did not really filibuster chuck hagel but they didn't really break the precedent here, and so now cabinet nominees are going to be filibustered. john mccain has been pushing that line, but what he has been pushing is not true. republicans in fact broke this rule and broke precedent for nothing, and there is no sign yet that even they know why.
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just amazing. before we go, one update on our breaking news on the primary election in chicago. that just happened tonight. this is the election to replace jesse jackson jr. in congress tonight, washington prepares us. how can nothing be the biggest news of the day? >> so what happens if this sequester kicks in. >> sequestration equals unemployment. >> fear not, congress is back to
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work. >> i don't sense a lot of urgency. >> we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass, before the senate gets off their ass. >> in the quote of the day. >> the republican leadership says what would pass bills next year. >> we should not have to move a third bill. >> there is no house bill. >> that was a different congress. >> with this congress. >> get the job done. >> this is a chance to do the big bill. >> this is the mixed message we see from republicans. >> the president gets more money, he will just spend it. he has gotten his tax hikes. >> so the republican party is probably in worse shape, out of touch than they were on election day. >> out of touch with the american people. >> they have a brand problem. >> chris christie not excited to cpac. >> the cpac convention is increasingly the bar convention,
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all that is missing is a couple of wookies. excuse us? >> so what happens if this sequester kicks in. >> fewer fbi agents, shortages that could jack up prices. i just want to state first as a matter of policy, there is nothing wrong with wookies, we love them. the big story today in washington is that nothing is happening, nothing at all. and that may not seem like a big story, right? a nothing happening. how could that be a big deal? but if you have been through a lot of these budget showdowns, and i've been through a couple of them now, usually 24 hours or three days or a week before something really bad is going to happen, something is happening. this is the fifth budget showdown between president obama
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and congressional republicans since 2011. and they usually all look the same right now. in these final days, yeah there is posturing. it doesn't stop. but the real focus, the real activity moves to frenzied, almost around the clock negotiations. but not this time, there are no negotiations happening. not at all, actually. everybody is talking, in fact, talking a lot. just not to each other. today, president obama flew to virginia, where he said this. >> all we were asking is to consider the tax loopholes and the deductions that the speaker of the house, john boehner said he is willing to do just a few months ago. he said there were loopholes and deductions you could close. said you could raise $800 billion or trillion by closing loopholes, i don't think that is too much to ask. i don't think that is partisan, the majority of american people agree with me.
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the majority of new port news agrees with me. we need to get this done. >> speaker boehner, your turn. >> to be clear, no revenue increases. we're not -- the president got his tax hikes in january. federal government will have more revenue this year than any year in our history. it is time to tackle spending. period. >> okay, we need to stop here for a minute. speaker boehner is playing real loose with those numbers. what he said, if you listen, what he said is narrowly true. because we have inflation in this country, most countries and economic growth. and that means any revenue number today will be bigger than any other revenue number a decade ago or two decades ago, even if taxes were much higher. so we don't usually measure taxes like that because it doesn't tell us anything. we measure them as part of the entire economy because they can
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tell us something. and the revenue is definitely not at record highs. here is a graph, the final number is what the congressional budget office expects the number to be this year as the economy, 16.9%, yeah, not the highest ever. that was about 20 in 2000. anyway, because speaker boehner wouldn't agree to raise revenue washington is doing nothing to stop the sequester, a sequester that is really unpopular. according to a newly released msnbc wall street journal poll, 21% of the americans think the cuts are a good idea. i would like to meet them and ask why. and 52% say they are a bad idea. so we're doing nothing, nothing at all about the bad idea. instead, speaker boehner is saying this. >> we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> i don't think we all need to run to the fainting couch every time a legislator says a bad word, but that is not exactly the kind of approach that leads
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to a productive approach in the senate. meanwhile, the senate is planning to vote on a bill this week. >> i think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior, we're doing our best here to pass something. our bill would reduce the deficit by having some smart spending cuts, with filling some of the tax loopholes that certainly should be filled. we're going to vote on this proposal this week. and we'll get a majority of the senate to vote for that. >> look, that is the kind of bill the president wants. it is the kind of bill he campaigned on. he won on, it is also the kind of bill that speaker boehner has explicitly rejected. the senate democrats will accept whatever the white house signs off on. and if senate republicans will agree to any deal that boehner blesses, the house separately passes bills the other doesn't like, bills that go nowhere,
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well, get us nowhere. but speaker boehner refuses to negotiate, this is literally his announced policy right now. he wouldn't talk to the white house. the way he sees it to jump start negotiations with obama, he would be slammed for engaging in out of sight secret talks with the president who the party doesn't trust. he will endanger his very speakership, both are simply nonstarters. this is a nonstarter to negotiate and a nonstarter to compromise. so what is left? well, the sequester is left. joining me is howard fineman, and my colleague. thank you for joining us tonight. >> great to be here. >> howard, if you're not going to talk, if you're not going to negotiate with the white house, what do we do? how do you get out of it? >> what you do is talk to the rest of the country, which is what is happening right now. i was over at the white house today.
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it is crickets, as you would describe. there is nothing going on. and we're sort of in a situation where everybody is in the canoe which is about to go over the water fall and nobody is paddling. what are they doing to start negotiations? nothing from either side, from what i can tell. and everybody is now moving to the next phase, which is the sequester goes into effect on friday. we see what happens, world saved, world doomed. you know, how dramatic it will be, probably not so immediately dramatic in most cases. but the picture will build over the days and weeks, especially as the effect of the sequester becomes plain in the military. in terms of civilian layoffs in the pentagon, and in terms of readiness around tell world, including in the persian gulf. >> the thing that i think we miss when we look at the sequester on its own is at the end of the month we have a fight
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over how to fund the government. at the end of march, march 27th, i believe, something called the continuing resolution. if we don't pass one the government shuts down. i don't understand how we'll continue to pass the resolution if we haven't even figured out the sequester beforehand. it seems as though the shutdown will be likely. >> that is what the republicans are betting on. there is sort of this gaming narrative on what it will be, obama actually thinking the world will end in some ways and people will then move and buckle. republicans thinking that after this happens obama will start to get the blame and he will buckle.
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but there also is the sense that it is the continuing resolution that everything will get done then. but again, how does it happen when you have these sides that are so wide apart in terms of what they want to happen? republicans are refusing on tax hikes and obama not wanting to see some of the drastic cuts and insisting on tax hikes. >> and one thing that was fascinating that obama did today, howard, the senate republicans talked about giving him the ability, the power, to move the sequester cuts around, the ability to get a portion. i want you to hear what he said, because i think it is big news. >> lately some people have said well, maybe we'll just give the president some flexibility, he can make the cuts the way he wants and that way it won't be as damaging. you know, the problem is when you're cutting $85 billion in seven months, which represents over a 10% cut in the defense budget, in seven months, there is no smart way to do that. and the broader point is, virginia, we can't just cut our way to prosperity. >> so why don't they want that authority? >> well, they don't want that
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authority for the reason the president said, not just in terms of defense but in terms of domestic spending where there are also very deep cuts. and the way one white house official put it to me, he said that is great. they're going to give us the -- the power -- >> might give them that, too. >> they're going to give us the power to decide which finger to cut off. do you cut head start or early childhood education, and then feeding programs and so forth? so they see it as a political trap. but i also agree with you, ezra, that even if somehow they're forced to the table by the sequester, which is questionable, there are these other trip wires that are coming. and i don't see why anybody should assume that suddenly the democrats and republicans and the president and john boehner are going to say you know what? forget all about that. let's just sit down now. you have got the continuing resolution at the end of the month. and i hate to say it but there is a debt ceiling thing coming up in the summer, as well. and the way the white house puts it, they think the sequester is the least dramatic of the impacts.
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that the shutting of the -- continuing resolution, which could shut down the government altogether is terrible and the debt ceiling is america's credit in the world. >> right, but i think that is actually a huge question, because one reason i think things that may come down to a government shutdown, the continuing resolution, is you can't get a resolution off the sequester itself. and they are scared of moving it to another debt ceiling, to have it in this middle ground, bad enough to force us to do something. not bad enough to crash a global economy may end up looking perversely attractive. >> right, it may be the best of terrible options. i think one of the things about this crisis, it is uncharted territory. you talk to republicans who lay out a scenario. and then you push them hard enough, they have no idea what they really want to see happen going forward. >> i think actually i would put it in just the opposite terms. it is all too charted territory, by which i mean everybody is so locked into the positions that they're in, politically, john boehner can't afford to give up
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on revenues. the president doesn't want to concede too much ground on entitlements. and he is right, he has put forward a balanced program, they're not buying it. >> thank you guys for being here tonight. i feel like we'll talk about this a lot. thank you, ezra. so where does this latest -- not really a crisis but kind of a crisis leave the president and congress? it is like they're going back in time to 2011. but what will the republicans win? they don't have president obama to defeat in 2016. that is next. and later, there is a ship, literally on the loose. it has no one driving it and it is just sitting in the ocean. the story behind it is coming up. when you have diabetes...
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they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate. if you take care of your car your car will take care of you. the other thing we have to do is to stop having these crises manufactured every month. seems like -- i know you guys must get tired of it. didn't we just solve this thing? now we have another thing coming up? >> so i had one of these didn't we just moments today when i went through the new msnbc news wall street journal fallout from the sequester fight. first, the president's approval rating is dropping, down to 50% from 53% in december, while his favorability rating has dropped four points. but the republicans' ratings are way worse, just 29% of a
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positive view of the republican party. well, 46%, 46%, almost twice as many have a negative view, a net negative favorability of minus 17 points, you don't want that minus on there. didn't we just see the poll trend back in 2011. the polling on the showdown for the republicans on the sequester looks really similar to the showdown. here is a poll taken before march 2011 before everybody unfortunately had to hear about the debt ceiling. in march 2011, president obama's job approval rating said 49% disapprove. 50% have a positive view of the president, 36% have a negative view of him. that is a net positive of 14 points, pretty good. meanwhile, 31% have a positive view of the republican party, while 43% have a negative view of the gop. for a net view, not good. so the president, while fairly popular has a long way to fall,
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while congress is at rock bottom. they are not popular people. so in 2011 if you're a republican in congress and your objective is this, you said this. >> you said the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. >> well, that is true, my single most important political goal along with every active republican in the country. >> so that is what your objective was, what you wanted to get done. the political reaction was clear, you tried to pull president obama down, mire the candidate of hope and change in the washington morass, the president's will go down more, he has further to fall. the republicans can just nominate a fresh face, an outsider not connected. and that is what exactly began to happen in the great debt ceiling debacle. but august 2011, president
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obama's job had been turned upside down, 51%, a majority, 51% disapproved. his favorability had been erased entirely. 44% a positive, 44% a negative view. it was not good for him. but the republican party's favorability had gone down, as well, it is now negative 14, instead of 13. they didn't have far to fall, but they fell a little. if your goal was to make president obama the number one president, from 3/4, to 4/5 is a small price to pay for taking a wrecking ball for the president currently running for president. and that strategy was working, at that point in 2011, mitt romney pulled ahead of president obama in matchup polls. he was leading, the outside poll seemed perfectly positioned to make president obama a one-time president. just like mitch mcconnell wanted. the president was reelected, he will not be a one-time president. the republicans will never have
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a chance to defeat barack obama on the ballot, because he will never again be on a ballot. what is their plan now? it can still be this. >> you said "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-time president." >> that is true, that is my single most important political goal along with every active republican in the country. >> during the debt ceiling, i could understand republicans in congress dragging everyone down to the mud. it was a rational means to an end. now in 2013, the republicans have a net negative of 17 points, 17 points in their approval ratings. and their party, unlike president obama is actually going to be on a ballot again, and soon. joining me now to try and figure out what they're doing is msnbc political analyst, steve schmidt, a senior adviser for
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the campaign in 2008, steve, i appreciate you being here. >> good to be here. >> walk me through this, what is the point of taking this kind of damage, of taking unpopular positions and forcing other showdowns against president obama? how does this sort of help in the long-term recovery of the republican party? >> well, just look at the politics of it, you're looking at it through the prism of the national politics, what is the standing of the party in the standing electorate, that is different in districts where president obama was defeated badly. republicans, if you look at the culture in the republican party since the 2008 election, republican members of congress are terrified of compromising. lest it beget a primary
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challenge that could take them out of their seat. and that fear is very much alive today. so when you look at the politics of it and you consider that if john boehner agreed to increase revenues as part of a broader deal with the president, the compromise is probably he would lose his speakership. so the republican's brand, its position heading into the next presidential election is a very different matter than the politics driving the political decisions inside the house republican conference, for instance. >> but how far can that go? i mean when i look at the polling on some of these issues, you often see majority of republicans saying they would approve of increasing taxes on
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the rich. and the big incident that came out a few weeks ago, you saw very few republican majorities for cutting spending on anything. and certainly not on the major congressional ticket items like medicare. so it often seems to me the congressional republican party is to the right of the republican party nationally, or at least to the right of people who describe themselves as republicans in national polls. or am i missing something here? >> well, look as you go through the polls and you sit in focus groups and you watch it. and you'll have a republican respond and say is that we have a spending crisis in the country that is going to lead to a debt crisis in the country. and we have to dramatically cut government spending. but when you begin to actually look at the programs, you begin to consider the cuts that would be made, people change their tune and they say wait a second. i'm a beneficiary of that. if you look at where government money is going, a lot of it is going to rural states that are net recipients of federal tax dollars as opposed to donor states that also happen to be a big part of the republican --
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big part of the republican base. so you know, there is a lot of dissonance between what people say and what they want. but there is another aspects of it. republicans, members of the senate, are deeply concerned about what they view is out of control spending, out of control spending during the bush administration. and out of control spending during the obama administration. and people legitimately fear the consequences of that for the next generation. so this is not all a made-up issue. this is a conviction issue for a lot of republican members of congress. and they're being responsive to their consistencies. >> i think that is exactly right, but one thing you watch, when it is a bit to the right, in the states, you saw virginia governor bob mcdonnell, and chris christie who has a 74% approval rating in a blue state, and keynoted. is not invited to cpac, i mean, the guy who is managing to make it in a blue state as a republican governor, seems -- i can't seem to explain it.
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>> well, when you look at the political consequences of the numbers that you're talking about, for the 2016 election it makes a very compelling case for a chris christie run for office. because almost certainly, the republican party is going to be better off with a nominee who comes from outside of washington, d.c. outside of the congress, which would point to a governor. and you have a governor who is a conservative governor, been very effective. popular in the blue state. and has the ability to change the electoral math for the first time in a long time to the republicans' benefit. so i think when you look at the dysfunction that is playing out, so much of this is who is up, who is down, and so much of this fight going on, both the president and congress will be hurt. and makes the case for chris christie.
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>> steve schmidt, you're one of the people who can almost make this stuff make sense to me, thank you. >> thank you, ezra. the sequester cuts, government spending in a really stupid way, but it doesn't have to be that stupid. and later, the hospital may cure you, but the hospital bill will give you a heart attack. at a dry cleaner we replaced people with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. ♪ the middle of this special moment and i need to run off to the bathroom. ♪ i'm fed up with always having to put my bladder's needs ahead of my daughter.
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people say washington is broken. that we don't get anything done. it is not true. we get lots of stuff done. the sequester is getting something done.
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it is just a dumb thing to get done, a dumb thing to do. this is the part of the show i get to tell you about anything i want to tell you. i want to tell you about a better way to do it. in fact, 15 ways to do it. do we have the clock? okay, the hamilton project is a think tank here in washington. and they asked experts to make the policies to reach two goals. they make the economy better, by growing the economy or protecting the environment or something. but here are my top five of the 15. number one, a carbon tax, and hamilton suggested we use money on a loot of it to lower the corporate tax rate, give money
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back to households and then cut the corporate tax result to 15 billion, we can do that by helping us fight global warming which is a far larger threat. and number two, get medicare to stop paying providers for every single thing they do, and begin paying them for each patient. they can keep the leftover money as profit. it forces them to think about how to treat patients as opposed to giving out services. number three, all the deductions, they do more for rich people. make them credits that everybody who pays income taxes can get. that makes it more fair and progressive. it raises $2.7 trillion, we can use most of that money to lower tax rates. number four, we used to fund infrastructure with the gas tax. that is broken down, but hamilton has a good idea, make people pay more for driving on the congested roads, that way we fight traffic at the same time we fight infrastructure. and number fight, the sequester cuts deep into medicare but does it in a really dumb way, i'm sorry, defense. hamilton has a way to cut deeper
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into defense, but doing so in a way that is intelligent and tries to modernize the military and focus on today's threats, rather than yesterday's. done, i have plenty of time. you can read the hamilton list at the next time somebody says we have the best treatment on the planet, ask them if it is better for a cancer patient who has to pay $85,000 in advance before they can get treatment. remind them this is a patient who has health insurance. the writer of a huge cover story explains why medicare bills are killing us. he joins us next.
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♪ another laptop? don't ask. disappear! abracadabra! alakazam! [ male announcer ] and now we're making it easier to get everything for your business. and for my greatest trick! enough! [ male announcer ] because whatever you need, we'll have it or find it, and get it to you fast. staples. that was easy. in the spotlight, the unbelievable cost of modern medicine. so a 30-year-old man, oklahoma city, we'll call him steve h., suffered from back pain, nothing too uncommon, adults in the country get pain often for back pain. steve had an element planted in his back, be in and out, same day surgery, steve wouldn't even have to spend a single night in
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the hospital. plus, he was insured through his union, which had an annual payout of $60,000. and he still had thousands to spend. how much could a routine out-patient procedure for a stop-watch sized thing cost? well, cost steve $86,000. and little did he know the cost of the stimulater would wipe out his payout. nobody told him it had a price tag of $49,237. on top of that, he was charged for the marker they used to write on his back, another $32 for a blanket, yes, a reusable hospital blanket to keep him warm. he had to pay $39 for the larger hospital gown, not the win he wore, the surgeon's gown, you can buy them for six apiece. unfortunately, steve h.'s story is not uncommon. they take a look at steve h. and many other americans struggling to pay their hospital bills.
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in 26,000 words, which happens to be the longest piece by a single author "time" has ever published, he tries to explain why the health care costs are so high for each american. joining me now, thank you for joining us. >> hi, ezra, how are you? >> i'm good. >> well, it is good that you're good. good you're not sick. >> it is a great article, i hope they all go to read it. but if they don't, seems to me the summary is if you don't have large insurer bargaining on your health like medicare, you have no power in the market place, even hospitals like mercy are going to fleece you, is that about right? >> well, that is true, even if you have an insurer like medicare, they're over paying,
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not as much as if you were paying insurance, but they may get a 50% discount off the surgeon's gown, which is still a ridiculous price. you know, they're being gouged also. you know, the bottom line is that the hospitals, the drug companies, the medical device makers all exist in something that is not a free market. it is a seller's market. and the buyers have no power, except for when medicare is involved. because medicare is the giant buyer of them all. and exerts its leverage and operates in a really efficient way. >> your article, which i thought was strange in one respect, the entire thing seemed to be an argument for single-payer medicine or medicare.
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the entire thing, the success, the government has bargained down prices, and even as you say, big insurers can't do it on their own. but you never say in the piece that you think we should do single payer or medicare for all. given the analysis you put forward, why is that? >> well, there are two reasons. one, i wanted to avoid getting caught up in the political fight. and the second reason, very frankly, i think i was much stronger on my reporting than i was on my policy analysis. because unlike you, i am actually relatively new to this. in fact, i actually noticed a piece of your reporting when i was doing it. i think you did a comparison of what various medical devices and treatments and drugs cost in the united states, versus everywhere else. which is you know, really, the contrast really just hits you over the head. but i really think, you know, the thousands of comments i have gotten. the blog posts i have seen. the video that you did with your colleague today at "the washington post," have really made me think a lot more about the policy prescriptions. and i think the next time i write about this, i may get a little smarter. >> well, i'm looking forward to it. >> i hate taking away your questions and not being in an
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argument with you, but i think you're right. >> no, no, i want to hear from you. i want health care to be a market. but what i have done to a conclusion. my conclusion in reporting on this stuff is that what separates health care from everything else, is that we don't have the ability to say no. we're too afraid to say no to a treatment for us or loved ones when our insurers say no, we fight them and the insurers eventually back down. the basic problem is, unlike a tv, we can't just walk out. and because of that health care will never work like a normal market. >> exactly, that is the point, not only can we not walk out, but we don't even decide to walk in. we enter it completely because we have to. you don't wake up one morning and say gee, i think i'll wander
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over to the emergency room and see what they have on sale today, like you will do if you go to walmart and see what is on sale. it is not a normal marketplace. and the way i found it is as you said is, by taking the bills and following the money and tracing the profits that everybody makes in the system, except arguably for the nurses and doctors who actually provide the care. everybody else is living in an alternate universe. the rest of our economy is actually hard pressed but the health care economy has been booming, and has been booming through the great recession, everybody has been making money. >> i think your piece is a great example of what they do to take things we think we know and show us a whole new side of them. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. stick with me here, i'm going to talk tonight about jedi mind tricks and why ben bernanke is kind of a master of them. yes, i said jedi, and ben bernanke. this is the debt story you have been looking for. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish, impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany?
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the best thing that happened in washington today is not going to sound like the best thing when i tell it to you. it is going to sound like a very boring thing, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke testified before the senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs. and please, please, please, don't change the channel. it was great, ben bernanke, a george bush appointee, probably the single most important policy-maker, said basically. >> adventure, excitement. a jedi craves not these things. you are reckless. >> okay, but instead of adventure and excitement, he said austerity and the sequester are making us reckless. ben bernanke is kind of like yoda, he looks more like obi-wan-kenobe, he has great
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power and talks in ways that are almost impossible to understand. we went to the hearing, where ben bernanke went to the senate and said stop it, stop it, you're doing it wrong, being reckless. and we have the best part for you. they're going to require a little bit of translation. because what he said today by washington standards is very radical, radical and very important, and he said it in ben bernanke speak, and you may not have noticed. luckily, i don't mean to brag, but i speak bernanke. >> first of all, when i came to the senate, it was armed senate committee, i thought i would hear some military challenge. and he didn't even hesitate by saying that the debt of this nation is our greatest threat. and i didn't know if you shared that same -- that same thought. >> it is certainly an important economic risk. and i think it is very important that over the longer term that we develop a sustainable fiscal
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plan. no question about it. >> i mean, his assessment was it is the greatest threat we face. >> i don't know, there are many possible candidates for that. >> well, senator joe manchin, trying to get ben bernanke, trying and failing, to sign on to the common decency that the debt is the toughest thing we face. that was ben bernanke saying very politely, no, senator it probably is not. so that was number one, ben bernanke went to the senate and said you can't just obsess about deficits all day. >> because it would be irresponsible for us not to do something. we have two alternatives, two paths to take here, either fix the financial problems in a
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longer term bigger fix or do something with the sequester, that we punished ourselves, basically because we have been unable as a body to come together. i think that was also said, shouldn't we do the sequester in a smarter way where there is more flexibility. >> i suggested to make trade offs in the near recovery, and aligning the policy with the timing, the timing says we made progress in the very near term as far as the budget is concerned. the problem is unaddressed in the longer term. so it doesn't quite match to be doing tough policies today, when the real problem is a somewhat longer term problem. >> again, ben bernanke just told manchin you're doing this in the complete wrong order. the key words there if you caught them were aligning the policy with the timing. ben bernanke just told the senate you have done a lot of deficit reduction in what he called the very near term, which is when we don't need it. and you have not done much about
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the long-term, when we do need it. so what he said is it doesn't match to do these tough policies, these austerity policies today, when the real problem is long-term. washington's decision to do the austerity now and save the big decisions later, is utterally wrong. but it was really the third clip where he drove down the hammer, what lawmakers really need to hear. >> will slow the rate of gdp growth by 1 and a half percent points, relative to what it would have been otherwise. a significant portion of this effect is related to the sequestration which is scheduled to begin on march one, which contributes ten percentage points. given the still moderate underlying pace of economic growth this additional burden on the recovery is significant.
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moreover, besides having effects on jobs and incomes, the slower recovery will lead to lower debt reduction for any given set of fiscal actions. >> that is huge, what ben bernanke said and what the senate should frankly know by now, what he said it would possibly be cheaper and definitely, definitely more cost effective now, to be doing cost effectiveness now and comparing it later. it would cut the long-term deficit, and that is what we're worried about. but doing what we're doing now, doing deficit reduction now, austerity, which hurts growth, and because it hurts growth which makes the long-term growth worse -- he didn't say stimulus pays for itself. he said the most bang for the buck, the way to construct policy is for later. he is right, it is just too bad he doesn't literally have a jedi mind trick he can use on congress.
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some interesting legal news in the wake of that carnival cruise incident weeks ago. on behalf of every passenger on board when the triumph broke down at sea, but we found out the fine print. guest agrees that any arbitration or lawsuit against carrier whatsoever should be litigated individually and not as a part of any class action. so that may make a class action suit a little tough. instead we could see more lawsuits from individual passengers, maybe even more fake ones like this.
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>> recently, the carnival cruise lines used the name "triumph" without my permission. on their disastrous cruise, in doing so they have cast negative dispersion on my persona, from now on, people will only associate me with poop. one thing is for certain, the shopping on board the triumph was definitely not -- conan, are you ready? you know it is coming. >> yeah. >> international waters? duty-free. >> but there is a new drama making out on the high seas involving yet another broken down cruise ship.